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Sunday, February 24, 2008


I'm getting ready to start teaching geometry in the fall to my son. I just made the first and second series cards for my son. Download them free on my website.

Money Cards

I made some penny and nickel cards for extra practice for my son. He was having a hard time getting the concept that one coin (nickel) means 5 cents. How 1 equals 5, he just wasn't understanding. He just kept getting all the coins confused because he wasn't getting this concept so these cards have really been helping! To download them go here

Friday, February 22, 2008

Download 3 part cards!

I made some 3-part cards for my montessori classroom. I made a quick website so I could place those files on there. Everything is free to download and remember that you are free to use them for your own personal use. Do not sell them!

My Website

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bead Stair

Besides my wood cutting/sanding, I've been working on the bead stair and beads for everything the decimel activity, decanomial board, snake game, negative snake game, long and short chaings, etc. You need a lot of beads! I bought most of my beads from I bought 8mm arcylic multi-faceted round beads in all the different colors. For $4.95 I got 900 beads of each color. The only color they were missing was brown and I just put in a order for that somewhere else! So for $45 I got all the beads I should ever need (besides the gold ones). I got the gold 8mm round beads from Joann's in packs of 400 for $3.95. Wait for the jewelry to be on sale (it frequently goes on sale for 25-30% off) and then if you are a homeschooler or teacher you can get a Joann's teacher card that will give you an additional 15% off all regular, sale and clearance items (whenever you don't use a coupon!). I also bought the wire there. I am using 16 gauge wire. I use gold wire for the gold beads (it looks so pretty this way!) and the silver for all the other colors. I used math u see with my son last year and just sold the blocks to someone online, but kept the boxes. I'm hoping all the beads for the decanomial set will fit in here. So far I have 55 10 bars, one, two, and three bars..the rest just have about 20.

Here is the colors to make the Bead Stair:

1 red

2 green

3 pink

4 yellow

5 light blue

6 brown

7 white

8 violet

9 dark blue

Scroll Saw

When I first decided I wanted to make wooden montessori materials instead of laminated cardstock, I thought I would need to buy everything new, because there was no way buying a $150 scroll saw and then the cost of wood and the time making it was actually going to be cheaper than just buying the materials. I went searching on my local craigslist and low and behold! I scroll saw for $40. Yeah! The guy I bought it from didn't know much about it and I couldn't find the instructions anywhere online. Oh well. How hard could it be really? It's actually not hard at all. Once you figure out how to put a fresh blade in.

Now, what about the cost of the wood? Surely, that was going to be expensive...or so I thought. I never really realized how little wood I would actually need and how reasonable it was. I bought a 4'x8' piece of beautiful Birch plywood from Lowe's that was 1/4" thich for $20. I had the at Lowe's cut it into 1/3's since Lowe's and Home Depot will give you 2 free cuts of wood. This made it fit in the car easy and then I cut one piece into 1/3's with my jigsaw to make it easier. I think next time, I will tell the Lowe's guy to cut the sheet into 1/5's so I won't have to do that. To give you an idea of just how much wood it was this is a picture of 1/3 of the wood I got.

With 1/3 of this wood, I have already cut the pieces for these materials:

Addition Board & strips

Subtraction Board strips

2 Sets of Large Number cards

3 sets of small number cards

85 addition strips

30 addition answers

Ten Boards and numbers

Teens Boards and numbers

So really in the end, it has proven to be very inexpensive. It's more time consuming to make than laminated cardstock, however, the results are a lot prettier, long lasting and my son is getting so excited over the materials.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Writing Tray

My 3.5 year old, Abby has known her letters and their sounds for over a year thanks to the leap frog letter factory movie! She hasn't shown an interest in learning to read though, until recently. She is more interested in writing though. She's always asking me to help her write her name and loves to sit with her brother Josh (5.5) and just write and color for hours now. I made up these writing trays for her. Super cheap, too! Walmart had these cool colored sands. They are in the crafts section and there were lots of different colors. It was only $1.92 for a tall skinny bottle of this stuff. Then I just bought a 4-pack of gladware containers and poured a little in. I made 3 of them, because you know when one kids does something they all want to do it! After making 3 of them, it only used up 1/4 of the bottle. So just in case, Nikki (the almost 2 year two weeks!) decides to dump her sand out the second I turn my back, I can refill it, LOL.


My husband got a HUGE migraine Saturday night and was just in so much pain. I ran to the gas station to get Excedrin Migraine for him and then after that wasn't enough, I got to go to the grocery store to pick up his prescriptions! What a fun night for me!

Well it ended up being a better deal than I thought! My local Kroger had these wonderful home decor baskets clearanced out so cheap! I got these because they look more like deep trays then a basket, so I thought they would be perfect for holding the number cards or other things. I got 4 of each style. The kahki baskets were $1.82 each! So that awesome or what?? The other baskets, look nicer, but are smaller. They were $4 each. I am very happy with my find! Now I just need to find some plastic trays for the water practical life activities and the land/water forms. I know target usually carries them over the summer, so I am waiting for that!

Cubico Game

I saw this game in my Montessori Play and Learn book, on page 67. I thought it was a neat game! It is made up of 9 die. Each side of each die is a different color with a number on each side. The child then picks a color and arranges the die in rows 3x3 so that when you add the first 2 numbers in the row it equals the 3rd number. You can add vertical and horizontally and it should all work. Instructions are on page 67 of this book as well as pictures. has paper die that you can cut out for this game if you wish.

You will learn quickly that I am someone that loves the wooden materials. They are so much more durable and I have 3 children and my oldest is 5 1/2 so they will be used for a long time. I'd rather put it a little more effort and money now, then have to remake everything every year. My children can get rowdy, LOL.

How I made these:

JoAnn Fabrics had a package of 3 wooden cubes for $0.99. They were about twice the size as a regular dice so I thought it was perfect size for this game. I bought 3 packages and painted each side a different color and then put the numbers on! It didn't take very long to do this. It was not expensive and it will be long lasting. I found wooden indoor/outdoor craft paint that was non-toxic at walmart and will be spraying it tomorrow with non-toxic protectant.